Similar to its neighbor two towns to the south, Lavallette officials this week announced they would be developing a plan to obtain a portion of $100 million being made available by the state to maintain Shore towns’ boardwalks.
As Shorebeat reported in a separate article on the Seaside Park proposal – which differs significantly from Lavallette’s vision – the $100 million fund, announced in August, was the result of bi-artisan legislation that taps various sources, including federal pandemic-era outlays under the “American Rescue Plan” and other similar appropriations. A bill marking the appropriations the “Boardwalk Preservation Fund” was signed into law by Gov. Phil Murphy last month.
Lavallette officials, led by Borough Administrator John O. Bennett, a former co-president of the state senate and acting governor, plan on submitting a robust package of items to the state by its application deadline of Oct. 31.
“I’d like us to get in line for our boardwalk,” said Bennett. It looks like we can really put together an expansive proposal, and there is no limit to how much you can get if you make the appropriate request.”
The plan being submitted by Lavallette asks to state to replace the entirety of the borough’s boardwalk, which runs from Dover to Ortley avenues – nearly the entire length of the town. Bennett said Monday that the request would also include the replacement of the lifeguard tower at Philadelphia Avenue and the gazebo-style “pavilions” that dot the boardwalk and provide shade to those out for a stroll.
Bennett also said that the fund leaves eligibility in place for municipalities to pitch bayfront access projects as well, so the replacement of public fishing piers in the bay area would also be part of the proposal.
A formal grant application will be prepared by Van Cleef Engineering, Bennett said, so long as the council wishes to participate. The engineering firm’s assistance in preparing the application is expected to cost about $5,000, he said.